My 9 year old son is having a very hard time learning to spell. He's a voracious reader, and reads above grade level with good comprehension. In general he's plenty smart. But spelling even basic words is a struggle for him. It has gotten to the point where "just practice more and you'll catch on" doesn't seem like the right strategy. Is there a specific learning disability related to spelling? [more inside]
Looking for practical advice and anecdotes on actively looking for a creative partner when life does not grant you one "naturally" like best friends who share a hobby etc. More specifically how do writers find other writers or comic book artists. I've gone to a few writers meetups and they were fun and useful, but ultimately not fruitful (yet). I know there are probably a lot of online communities I could join (how should I approach this approach to finding someone?)
I've written an essay about my relationship with my ex. What are your experiences with publishing personal essays about friends or family members? [more inside]
I'm about to start a writing project with someone else. I have no idea how this is done: logistically, that can be all worked out, I mean more division of labor. Does one dream up and the other grind it out? What works best for you and your writing partner?
It's 2015, and more and more academic articles from pre-Internet times are getting scanned, indexed, and shared. Back in the day, you might have been able to publish essentially the same paper in journals with mainly domestic subscriber lists in two different countries, and nobody ever would have been the wiser. Somebody did this. The intersection of subscribers was probably less than 25 libraries in this case back then. Twenty years later, and a reader noticed. Author is now a big cheese. My gut tells me to treat this just like any other case of major plagiarism--notify the author, allow them to respond, but then likely public retraction as self-plagiarism and notify employer and journal where Author is now editor. [more inside]
I love my Jotter, but I'm looking for something similar in a fountain pen. My number 1 priority is slimness - I hate fat pens - but I would also like to avoid cheap-feeling plastic. What are my options for under $50? Should I stick with Parker? Is the Cross Classic worthy of my grasp? What's the best non-bulky fountain pen you've used?
I am researching liner notes, and would like to see Johnny Cash's liner notes for his album "Live at Folsom Prison" as well as his liner notes for Bob Dylan's "Nashville Skyline." They don't seem to be anywhere online, even in iTunes. I would order hard copies, but I don't have time for shipping. Does anyone know where I can find them online, or would anyone who has them be willing to take readable photos for me? I'm on a time crunch, of course. Please help!
Should one query publishers individually or simultaneously about short story collections? Does no mention of submission status on publisher websites mean "we're closed to subs at this time?" I've read tons of opinions about novel, short story, or article subs, but little about submitting/querying for collections, other than "you should probably wait until you have a novel." In my niche, many authors publish collections with small or large presses before a novel, if they write novels at all. [more inside]
My wife has started doing some freelance writing, and her first story will be published in tomorrow's edition of our local newspaper. Yay! Unfortunately, someone in the editorial chain made several errors, including misspelling a simple word in a section they (poorly) rewrote, and misspelling the name of one of the subjects of the story in several of the photo captions. They also rewrote another portion into a bunch of short, choppy sentences that totally ruin the flow of the article. How should she respond? [more inside]
I am a music journalist, and I’ve also done a lot of promotional writing (bios, press releases, etc) over the years for musicians, PR firms, and record labels. I’ve mostly written for rock musicians but have done other genres as well. I want to get more clients but don't know the most effective way. More inside. [more inside]
I'm close to an important academic deadline, and I need to hole up somewhere this weekend and just churn out words. My goal is to produce about 10-12,000 words of rough draft in the next 3 days (there will be time to edit so I'm not too worried about polish at this stage). I would like some tips on how to maximise my chances of getting this done. [more inside]
A friends son is very keen on creative writing - he publishes online via Reddit and his own blog. He is currently negotiating with an online gaming company (based in the Netherlands) to write dialogue for their new game that is in development (they send him prompts and basic outlines of the game sequence). Can you give me any advice about the average rates for online writing. Do you you charge by the hour or for a written piece? What would you recommend would be a good rate, considering his age (17) and his skill level (he is still in high school!). From my research I have seen a range of quotes - anything from $20 per hour or $50 per article up to $900 for skilled writers. Any advice much appreciated.
I just moved to Boston and don't know much of anything about it's history as a music town. I mean I'm generally aware of classic rock bands being from Boston, and then Mission of Burma, but what else? What books, documentaries, websites, magazine archives, etc should I read to find out more about the Boston (and surrounding area) scene? [more inside]
Where can I find excellent movie discussion, analysis, reviews, dissection, etc by women? I feel like I have a stable of great film-related youtubers, writers, and podcasters that I enjoy, but they are largely male -- I'd love to discover more current work from women in this area. Thank you!
I am looking for the journalists that are experts in what they write about. [more inside]
I'm returning to freelance copyediting after 10 years on the writing side of nonprofit operations. Educational, business and technical content interest me the most, and that’s where I want to start (I also enjoy research, but how to fit that in?). Can the hive mind help steer me in the right direction? Another challenge: I must do it remotely. Where do I start? [more inside]
I can't find any sources that really explain how they'd work to a science illiterate like me. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Even fiction will help, seeing as it's for a story of my own. [more inside]
I'm co-writing a theme and blurb for a conference with a colleague. The theme is "Convergence|Divergence." My pal has added an opening that is driving me insane, but I see his point. What images come to mind with this theme? There are two from the music of our youth...The Beatles' "Come together right now," and $BandName "Song Title" Trigger warning: Annoying earworm inside. [more inside]
A few years ago I interviewed a locally-based but internationally-known folk musician about her life and work. Her stories were great and I thought she should write a memoir, but she said he didn't have the time. So I volunteered to help. [more inside]
After finishing my dissertation, I successfully applied to become a reporter at a newspaper. I'm liking the work as well as the flexibility and connectedness that allows me to apply what I researched (political theory/discourse analysis) in my writing--I'm wondering how I can better conceptualize my future career path. (Details within) [more inside]
I think I write in a confusing manner. Folks seem to have a hard time wading through my sentences and paragraphs. Maybe it's because I use peculiar words. Maybe I phrase things awkwardly. Maybe I just don't understand how to properly structure a sentence. I don't know. Do you have any advice about how to write in a way that's easy to read and understand? [more inside]
I like to travel. I also like to make money. I have always heard about the internet being a great tool these days for doing both. A very long time ago, I made money doing journalism writing for legit media outlets. I don't have a degree, just a natural talent. For the better part of the past decade, I have focused on screenwriting and have even optioned a script but other than that I haven't made any serious traction. What resources exist for doing this remotely and where should I look? What would I need to do get started? I do still have articles from my journalism days that I could provide as samples. I would also be open to other forms of writing/online work if it was easy to pick up on. Thanks!
Hurrah, my ex-boss agreed to
write sign my a letter of recommendation! But I have to write it myself. How do I sound like him? [more inside]
What formatting conventions are there for inarticulate sounds such as screams, cries, snores, etc. when writing screenplays? [more inside]
I've been composing several written works for some years now. They are unfinished, however, certain sections 'need to be published' according to a trustworthy friend who specializes in the field. Unfortunately, I've lost touch with her, and am clueless as how to attempt to publish whilst maintaining an appropriate degree of protection and control of my work. [more inside]
I manage my writer friend's site where he puts up (not otherwise published) longform articles for free. Film criticism, fiction and articles about literature and philosophy, close to 500 entries. Due to his ethics he is against marketing or monetising and only now after some years we are investigating donations (definitely not monetising). Is this feasible, and how do I not get this wrong? [more inside]
I'm trying to identify/find this pre-1980 story set in America, about an epidemic (highly contagious, spread skin-to-skin) where everyone's turns grey and the victims have hallucinations. The protagonist is on the run (along with a woman?), trying to escape roaming victims (who have a craving to touch his uninfected skin). In that last aspect, it has a zombie apocalypse feel to it. I believe it was a little-known work by a big-name author. Can anyone tell me what it is? SPOILERS BELOW [more inside]
I've been writing for a year and a half. I'm proud of my work, which is pretty obscure so far but some people like it and I'd like to try to go somewhere with it. (I'm in my late twenties if that makes a difference.) I just got published in an erotic anthology that's kind of a big deal. I also write essays for a high-traffic website. I think I'd have a wider audience if I used my real name. But I'm worried about discrimination because it's pretty sensitive material. [more inside]
I just submitted my dissertation (yay...)! But during the struggle I've decided that academia is not my cup of tea--what next? Details after dropping out of warp. [more inside]
I hope this doesn't sound like a "do my homework for me" Ask, but I'd like some help with researching gender bias in STEM. As I mentioned in this thread, I've been asked to write an article regarding gender bias in STEM for an internal newsletter at my company. [more inside]
I recently learned that my (retired) mom is interested in writing, and I would like to get her a book in support of this. Bird by Bird would have been perfect, but she's already read that one. Can you suggest other books have that same feel? [more inside]
I'm wondering if Patreon is suitable for writers. If it is, what are some technical best practices to maximize engagement (and not fail miserably)? Or maybe there is a better platform than Patreon. Either way, besides creating good content in the first place, how can a writer "optimize" Patreon? [more inside]
I have a lot of trouble writing stuff. I feel it's getting worse, to a point where it's problematic in my worklife. I don't understand why it is so, but I'd love to change this. Pointers, methods, experiences are all welcome, as I can't help but feel more than a bit weird about this. [more inside]
When I think of Wilde's or Dickens' prose, I think of classical rhetorical techniques such as paraprosdokian and chiasmus--and of course countless others. I'm looking for sources that analyze prose fiction--modern or canonical--according to models of classical rhetoric. Internet sources would be excellent, but I might spring for a hard-copy text if it's not too expensive. Thanks.
I am looking for three things here: 1) Some kind of drill, preferably in game format but anything good will do 2) tools to run my writing through to catch my errors and 3) generic reference materials. Online resources are strongly preferred, in part because I get sick when I handle books and papers too much. [more inside]
I'm taking next week off to do two things. The first is to develop some habits that are conducive to me writing continually, daily and with presentable results. The second is to actually have a product by the end of the week. I'm thinking one good and fairly polished short story. Please give me advice and ideas about how to accomplish this. Do you need a place to work that is for "writing only"? Do you have a daily routine? Did you have to develop self-discipline? Do you have rituals like meditation or having tea or writing by candle light? Do you listen to music? With an entire week to do whatever I want, how do I best use my time for writing? [more inside]
I'm curious as to how writers of fiction or television (specifically writers who are not from the depicted region or culture or economic class themselves) of shows like The Wire or Deadwood or The Sopranos, are able to write a wide range of dialects, vernaculars and idioms so successfully.* [more inside]
I really like Fabriano blocks - particularly the A5 dot-patterned paper that is glue-bound on the left side of the block (see here. I would like to get a leather (or other suitably durable material), A5-sized zipper-closing cover to hold one of these with writing implements (pen, pencil, and eraser)... [more inside]
A lot of mindfulness meditation techniques focus on awareness of the present moment and stepping outside our personal narratives. My question is: does this process end up dissolving our perceptions of the past; and when one side steps the narrative, doesn't it make it harder to compose and imagine stories that exist outside of the present moment?
I'm in the final couple of months before submitting my dissertation, writing up frantically, and have just found out that someone I know has switched topics to my topic and actually submitted their dissertation. How do I cope with this and get on with my work? Snowflakes inside. [more inside]
I'm about halfway through reading the first Game of Thrones book, and I'm looking for some literary criticism or in-depth articles about the series' writing (books only). [more inside]
It’s been a stressful year thus far and I really need to get away for a few days, but alas, none of my friends are available for a trip right now. I’d love to go somewhere in mid/late August. I have a bunch of requirements, of course! [more inside]
So I've been pecking away at a book for a while, encountering the typical novice writer issue of not getting past 100 pages or so before things start to stall. Can you help me figure out who my heroes will do battle with? [more inside]
Can someone decipher what this says for me. Thanks in advance.
Please recommend to me any science fiction/fantasy novels (maybe TV shows as well) that are well written, interesting, and essentially nonviolent. "Completely violence-free" isn't necessary. I'm particularly looking for novels aimed at adults that don't rely on combat scenes to advance the narrative, generate/resolve tension, or provide Crowning Moments of Awesome.* [more inside]
I'd like to find some software to organize and tie together less-important details in my story. Probably I want a personal wiki--but which one? I'm open to wiki alternatives also. [more inside]
My personal history is something that has confounded me and still does. Please help me find some resources to help me make more sense of it. [more inside]
Please help my husband and me find words or phrases (any language!) that describe the sensation of knowing how far you are from home. Not really alienation or nostalgia or being homesick-- just the understanding/realization of the distance. [more inside]
Hi mefi, can anyone recommend sites/writers that post interesting longer articles in French? [more inside]
Can you please give me advice, or share recommendations, about non-disposable, easy writing pens for a left-handed writer? Not ballpoint, and need free-flowing ink. I have tried various gel, ball-point, fountain, and dip pens, and I prefer a sustainable solution. [more inside]